I am a very independent person, both in life and in my relationships. I am the type of girl who does whatever I want and I need to be reminded sometimes that other people are involved in this relationship. That’s part of the reason Stephen and I work so well together, he’s a relatively relaxed and selfless person, so he’s perfectly happy to hang out and let me do what I want. He can also let me know if he has an opinion. Other people I know, unfortunately, don’t operate with that same mentality. Both can be a detriment to a relationship.
We see it all the time in pop culture, actually — a woman changing herself to please a man. In fact, one of my favorite movies of all time, Grease, has a plot that centers around Sandy changing for the bad boy. This is a straight up terrible message to young girls. Changing yourself to be with a guy is NEVER the answer.
Here’s some real world proof:
On one of my first dates with Stephen, I exaggerated how much I like metal music because I thought Stephen liked metal. I like some, I know less about it than I like to pretend. A few months later he was playing some stupid metal song on the radio, I told him I hated it and he looked at me like I told him I hated Santa. He was so confused. I had to later go back and explain that I was just trying to impress him. It was embarrassing. And what do you know? He still liked me even though I despise Metallica. Go figure.
Still not enough proof?
I have a friend who has changed herself immensely for every guy she has ever dated. Has this ever directly lead to a breakup? I don’t know. I’m not dating her. However, I do know that she has never been 100 percent happy in a relationship because she hasn’t been herself. For one boy she dated she bought cowboy boots, went to go listen to a Rush Limbaugh talk and turned into a gun toting, country loving, Midwestern Republican. She dated this boy for three years. After they broke up she started dating a new boy. She then became as left-wing as they come. She listened to screamo and hardcore music. She dyed her blonde hair dark. It COULD be that she just changed over time and this new self was her true self. But it all changed four years later when her and the boy broke up.
I love shopping for my friends, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what this girl likes any more. No one can. And obviously these boys that loved her would still love her if she has been herself, but after lying for that long it probably would hurt them to know that she lied at all. It’s a huge sign of insecurity and I wish no girl would ever have to feel like they have to change themselves.
The makeover in She’s All That, the makeover in Grease, the makeover in every movie ever where the nerdy girl becomes someone else to get the guy. These all reinforce the idea that we’re not good enough by ourselves. But let me tell you, my stubbornness and unwillingness to compromise may have caused me a few arguments, but I know who I am. And because of that? I love who I am.
Molly is a senior journalism/English major at a school you haven’t heard of in a state you haven’t heard of. She’s obsessed with Chandler Bing, English bulldogs, and cheese. Follow her on twitter @mollymahannah, or check out her website accordingtomolly.com.